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Old 08-14-2009, 03:45 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Telluride has the biggest and most diverse resort but prices are high. A group of intermediates would have plenty to ride in Durango, Wolf Creek, or Monarch. Monarch is often overlooked but is a great ski area. It's very cheap and so is the near-by lodging + Better riders can go Cat-boarding.
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:01 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've never been to Monarch but some friends of mine went last season... They had nothing but bad things to say about the place. Basically they claimed it was a hill better suited for being in Kansas or something? Tiny
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:22 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Milo303 View Post
I've never been to Monarch but some friends of mine went last season... They had nothing but bad things to say about the place. Basically they claimed it was a hill better suited for being in Kansas or something? Tiny
Monarch gets 350 inches of snow/year over 800 skiable acres and an 1100 foot vert. Compare that to
Wolf Creek's 450 inches of snow/year over 1600 Acres on 1600 Vertical Feet or
Telluride's 309 inches of snow/year over 2000 Acres on 4400 Vertical.

If you want snow (though it could be a gamble as Mr. Right said), head to Wolf Creeek. If you are willing to pay a little extra for all of the auxiliary family options and a bigger mountain, hit Telluride. I also see that if you are driving, the distance to Creek and Ride are pretty-much the same from Gilbert, AZ. Good Luck and have fun!
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Old 08-14-2009, 08:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I guess they don't know where to look or are completely lazy. The Mirkwood Basin area looks fantastic. Plenty of great cliff hucking photos have come from that area. Of course it's a short hike to get to that area. I rode Monarch before they had that area open and it was a fun hill. The major drawback is that the vertical isn't as long as compared to other Colorado areas. Most of the runs are under 1k in vertical. Then again without lift lines you get a lot of runs in too.

Here is one look at the area from a bc run across the highway from the ski area.

That's the main area. So yeah, nothing catching my eye either. Pretty plain.
The ridge to the right of the snow capped peak is the Mirkwood Area.

I thought I had a better pic of it, but it's peppered with rocks and small chutes. Basically a mini golf course. There is a service road towards the bottom that loops you back into the resort. With the amount of snow they get down there, you have a good chance of scoring powder.

Would I make an entire trip to hang out at Monarch Ski Area? Probably not. If you stay in Gunnison it's worth a day or two and you can also hit Crested Butte up. That way you can cherry pick you days based on conditions.

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Old 09-12-2009, 11:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I've never been to Monarch but some friends of mine went last season... They had nothing but bad things to say about the place. Basically they claimed it was a hill better suited for being in Kansas or something? Tiny
I've lived along the Front Range of Colorado for the better part of 30 years... Monarch may not be the best place to go, but it's no slouch either; I actually enjoy it quite a bit.
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Old 09-14-2009, 03:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've lived along the Front Range of Colorado for the better part of 30 years... Monarch may not be the best place to go, but it's no slouch either; I actually enjoy it quite a bit.
I liked Monarch a lot on the one trip we took there but I think that's because there was 3 feet of snow and a bluebird sky the day we showed up. Mirkwood Basin is cool, the organic park was fucking sweet, and they had some good steep runs as well if you went up high enough.
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Old 09-17-2009, 11:01 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Durango/Purgatory would be my pick for an intermediate rider. It has lots of blues. It is also cheaper than Telluride. It might get a little busier than Telluride during spring break. The blacks at Purgy get icy when it has been a few days since it snowed. The park at Purgy or what I have seen of the park at Telluride is better. Tamarron Lodge South of Purgy is cheaper than resort side and only seven miles from the lifts. A free shuttle runs until 10pm or so. The slope side lodgings at Purgy are nice. You can run and have a beer and sandwich for lunch. Also catch the lift early and head to the back lift before it gets crowded, not so crowded and some nice runs. Hermosa lift has a lot of nice intermediate terrain some of which are steeper than blacks at Telluride.
Wolf Creek doesn't have a park but it is a lot less busy. It has less lift serviced terrain than the other 2. Or at least less than I have found. It is also a bit of a drive from Pagosa Springs which is on your side of the slope. It's a beautiful drive. I think Wolf Creek is better for Advanced and Beginner, or people with poles.
Telluride is a little pricey. Don't be afraid of the blacks there, If there is snow on them they aren't so bad. The extreme stuff was closed when I was there and they were blasting it so I really didn't get a look at it, I wouldn't have done it anyway. If it is dumping and you plan on dropping to the other side don't take the lift out of Telluride. They don't groom powder and the lift unloads you in a major flat area. Take the gondola over to the other side and the middle 2 lifts have a lot of intermediate terrain. If it is dumping take the lift out of Telluride and ride the blacks down to Telluride(not so much flat going that way. There is about 1700' of vertical back to town. Stay off the blue going to Telluride. It doesn't have enough slope to be called a green.
Hope this helps.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:53 AM   #18 (permalink)
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When they get a good snow the waterfall area at Wolf Creek is my favorite place to ride that I have ever seen in my time on a snowboard. I would vote for the Wolf out of all of the ones mentioned myself. Pagosa is a fun place to party too.
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Old 09-19-2009, 12:17 PM   #19 (permalink)
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On 2nd thought:
Purgatory will be packed with really long lift lines on spring break. Wolf Creek or Telluride shouldn't be so bad. I checked the map and Telluride has added a lot of park lately. It will cost you about 25 to 50% more than Wolf Creek. For an intermediate group I would pick Telluride. I do have a prejudice against Wolf Creek. Everytime I book a trip 3 weeks in advance it doesn't snow for those 3 weeks. Still it really doesn't have a great deal of intermediate but it does have some steeps and trees.
For views I hear Telluride is great. When we were there it was getting nuked and you couldn't see very far but you had freshies on every run.
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Old 09-25-2009, 08:36 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Only place ive been out west was the boat. 3600+ vert was plenty for me. I had a blast.
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